Royal Enfield is trying hard to beat the ongoing slump in the automotive industry. First, they launched a more affordable variant of their popular Bullet series. Now they have taken the game to the next level by bringing in a more accessible variant of the popular Royal Enfield Classic. This popular model has been dropping volumes for the past several months. Here’s all you need to know about the new Royal Enfield Classic 350 S:
Design: Too little, too late?
Royal Enfield continues to stick to its genes by sticking to its retro charm. Precious little has changed on the design front of the Royal Enfield Classic 350S. This serves a dual purpose. With minimum design changes Royal Enfield in eliminating the need of any development time. Also, the manufacturer now has a chance to clear their existing stock of BS-IV units of Royal Enfield Classic 350.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S loses out on much of the chrome seen in the standard edition. However, it doesn’t go all aboard as the Stealth Black edition or even the Classic 350 Signals.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 S gets black wheel rims, black suspension covers and fenders. The paint is also carried forward in the air box cover. Unlike the standard Classic 350, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 S also gets black tear drop shaped indicators. However, unlike the Stealth Black and 350 Signals, the bike gets a chrome rear suspension springs (and cover), chrome rim surrounding the head lamp and a standard black seat cover.
The fuel tank of the new Royal Enfield Classic 350 S is the same tear drop shaped unit but misses out on the tank grips. Also, the bike gets a simple Royal Enfield text as a decal on the tank instead of the standard sticker. Besides that, the engine casing is matte black, which chrome haters will love.
Colours: A coat made of two new shades
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S will be available only in two shades – ‘Pure Black’ and ‘Mercury Silver’. In comparison the standard Classic 350 is offered in Silver, Classic Black, Lagoon, Classic Chestnut and Ash.
Creature comforts anyone?
Unlike several manufacturers, Royal Enfield focuses on a more traditional appeal. The bare-bones utilitarian nature of motorcycles may not appeal to many. But try saying that to the lakhs of people who have been buying Royal Enfields every year. In fact, the company sold over 8.26 lakh motorcycles globally in the last financial year (FY 2018-19). They aim to cross the 9 lakhs mark for the first time this year.
However, thanks to the present economic slowdown, the company has been bleeding volumes. Between April 2019 and August 2019, Royal Enfield dispatched 2,90,798 motorcycles. That is a drop of 20% from the 3,63,801 odd units they dispatched during the time period last year. In fact, they had already crossed 2.94 lakhs mark by July last year!
All said and done, what Royal Enfield has achieved is no commendable feat. They have successfully carved out a market for retro looking motorcycles with bare minimum electronics. Instead of a plethora of electronic riding aids, Royal Enfield promises true blue riding experience. Yes, sounds like a niche segment of riders among the lakhs right? Well, that niche has grown from 50,000 odd units in 2010 to over 8 lakhs last year… Guess they are doing something right. After all, creature comforts always do not matter.
Cycle Parts: Royal Enfield Classic 350 in a new package
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S is mechanically the same as the standard version. Suspension duties are administered by 35 mm conventional telescopic fork up front with 130 mm of travel. Unlike most manufactures Royal Enfield still does not offer a monoshock. In fact, the Himalayan is the only Royal Enfield badged motorcycle to get a monoshock. The rear suspension setup of Royal Enfield Classic 350 S includes twin gas charged shock absorbers in the rear. These are adjustable for preload which can altered as per the rider’s need across 5 levels. The rear setup offers 80 mm of travel.
Royal Enfield motorcycles are known for leisure highway styled riding and the Classic 350 S’ 1,370 mm wheelbase is great for straightline stability. However, that’s not the only thing which prevents you from scrapping your knees at corners. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S has a kerb weight of 192 kg (with 90% of fuel and oil inside the system). The fuel tank can store 13 litres of petrol while the bike has a ground clearance of 135 mm.
It measures 2,160 mm in length, 790 mm in width and 1,090 mm in terms of overall height. Besides that, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 S continues with a DC 60/55 watt halogen headlamp surrounded by twin pilot lamps. The taillamp is a 5-watt bulb.
Brakes: Anchors take a hit
Braking duties in the Royal Enfield Classic 350 S are taken care of by 280 mm disc in the front with twin piston calliper. That’s the same as the one on the standard Classic 350. However, to save on costs, Royal Enfield Classic 350 S misses out on the 240 mm rear disc seen in the standard variant. Instead it gets a rear drum unit. While specifics have not been revealed by the company, we believe that it is the same 153 mm drum setup doing duty in the Bullet 350 ES.
Also, the bike misses out on dual channel ABS and gets the safety net only in the front wheel. Besides that, the front wheel is a 19-inch unit while the rear gets an 18-inch unit.
Engine: The Heart of Darkness
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S is powered by the same 346 cc air-cooled, twin spark, carburetted engine. This engine uses pushrods to move the intake and exhaust valves and not overhead cams as seen in the modern Himalayan and 650 Twins. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 20.1 PS of power at 5,250 rpm. While that might not seem much for a 350 cc engine but if the torque output will win your heart. In fact, the engine churns out 28 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Price: Money matters!
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S is priced at INR 1.45 lakhs (ex-showroom) which is INR 9,000 less than the standard Classic. In comparison, the recently launched Royal Enfield Bullet 350 ES costs INR 1.21 lakhs (ex-showroom).
However, there is a small catch. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 S is not available across India yet. In fact, the motorcycle is available only in Tamil Nadu and Kerala at the moment. We expect dispatches to the rest of the country to begin in the next few weeks.